This Week in Milford

September 21, 2022

It Must’ve Been Zane Clark’s Doing

How bleeding edge are we now, kids? The Linda Lindas’ new album is their first album, released only this past June. They’d previously released an EP in 2020. Their breakout hit was “Racist, Sexist Boy” which kinda seems on brand for the nu-look Gil Thorp. Here they are performing it at a public library, which kinda seems on brand for the old-look Gil Thorp.

Rock ‘n Roll Thursday comes a day early to TWIM, then.

That, in a nutshell, is what today’s strip is all about: getting past the hard candy shell of modern society to get to the chewy middle of adolescent desire to be popular and part of a group. Look beyond the hijab-clad volleyball player and her brown-bagged meal (possibly halal, because the MHS cafeteria can’t be trusted) and see the girl who wants to let her circle of friends know she’s hip to the latest music. Look past Arianna’s acknowledgement of the hijab-clad girl (who hasn’t been given a name yet IIRC) and see the girl who wants her friends to know she uses Urban Dictionary. Look beyond Keri’s suddenly green-dyed hair and bejeweled everything and see the girl whose nose is out of joint because she’s not in the team picture one of her teammates took and posted to social media.

So sit back, relax, and watch the old Too Cool For School drama play out with a bunch of new faces. At this rate, we’ll probably see more of that than we will of Mudlark football.

September 19, 2022

Can I Get A THHLORP?

Filed under: Keri Thorp, Volleyball — nedryerson @ 11:10 am

If you wanted sports, here’s a concentrated dose of sports. The girls’ volleyball team wins again! I don’t know who announces the win in panel 3. Is there a radio play-by-play happening, or is it livestreaming on someone’s phone or is there an exuberant fan calling the action? Hopefully, whoever it is knows what they’re doing. Maybe that was just one point and this guy is really going to get on people’s nerves.

The sound effects are doing the heavy lifting today. Wack and Pop make sense, but Spike is a little iffy. Sure, we know what a spike is, but does a spike sound like SPIKE? Not really. It’s probably more of a FAP. But Gil Thorp FAP-ed a few weeks ago so maybe we’re all FAP-ed out. I think we probably need a guy like Don Martin to do this correctly. In case you’re curious, Don Martin did once use a FAP according to the link in the prior sentence. and no, it didn’t mean what we snicker about these days. It was the sound of “a huge extension arm launched boxing glove hitting a doctor in the face”. See, that’s roughly the equivalent of a hard slap on a volleyball. It’s closer than SPIKE anyway.

Oh well. Milford wins. Are we hitting The Bucket. GAG!

September 14, 2022

More Pronoun Trouble

Football season! Volleyball season!

Here we go again, but it’s not a dispute as to whether sportsball should take precedence over non-sportsball extracurriculars but the modern problem of remembering what pronouns people choose to identify themselves. Today, Toby née Tabatha identifies as he/him, Keri identifies as they/them, and Gil identifies as coach/Coach.

Now why are these three having this little confab at The Bucket of all places? (And why are they having coffee? Don’t they know there’s a cantina in town for that?) Are they here to pick up them after their postgame dinner? Are they serving as their chaperones for said dinner? Is it time for a jangle-off as Mel and Mimi see who can rattle their jewelry the loudest? Winner gets Gil – if she wants him, that is.

The unspoken tension here is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, not unlike the one Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, tries to play the supportive husband by throwing out a patronizing “sweetie.” Will Mimi have the divorce papers served publicly to Gil right here in The Bucket, the way Jason Sudeikis had Olivia Wilde served with custody papers while she was presenting at CinemaCon?

One thing is clear: despite Mel’s claim, in Milford, nothing is the same as it was.

edit: Oops! I forgot to identify the players from the Dolphins’ No-name Defense I posted this past Saturday!

Front, reclining: Lloyd Mumphord, CB

Front row, left to right: Bob Matheson, LB; Bill Stanfill, DE; Bob Heinz, DT; Manny Fernandez, DT; Vern Den Herder, DE

Center: Nick Buoniconti, LB

Back row, left to right: Dick Anderson, SS; Curtis Johnson, CB; Mike Kolen, LB; Doug Swift, LB; Tim Foley, CB; Jake Scott, FS

September 12, 2022

Hitting The Bucket

Filed under: Colorist Error, Keri Thorp, The Bucket, Volleyball — nedryerson @ 6:28 am

The Central Bobcats drop the volleyball match to Milford. The Bobcat who showed up in the wrong uniform couldn’t dig out the ball, so the let’s begin the celebration. (Yes, the colorists are still not getting the notes. Maybe a new crew of colorists checks in every week. I don’t know. It’s boring. The strips are colored by really cheap AI robots. We get it.)

The meat of the strip is an encounter between Keri Thorp and the recently introduced Tobias Gordon. I was confused by the dialog until I realized that Keri was talking to herself, nervously narrating Toby’s approach through the middle of the victory celebration. Is Keri talking to herself because she has a thing for Toby? Has she even met Toby before? Maybe Gil filled Keri in on Toby since Gil has been given the task of “watching over” Toby, by Toby’s mother.

Toby is not nervous though. He strolled right onto the court and asked Keri to The Bucket. Is he emboldened because he’s Gil’s charge? (Did Gil observe this? Did he not tell Toby to move his butt off the court unless he wants to join the team? We’ll have to wait and see what efforts Gil puts into his watching over.)

What say you, Keri? Can Toby take you to The Bucket? Is it okay if Gil watches?

September 10, 2022

The Return of the No-Name Defense…

Filed under: actual action, Central, hands in the air, Keri Thorp, Volleyball — teenchy @ 8:19 pm

… and the No-Name Offense too while we’re at it. Whoever is calling this jayvee volleyball game in front of a packed house of 5 (and since when do jayvee volleyball games merit announcers?) wasn’t given or can’t be bothered to find the Milford or Central rosters. It’s a little refreshing, really, not having to Google which of Neal Rubin’s friends was getting a shout-out by having a players as a namesake. Still if we’re gonna have a narrative about a specific Milford team during a season, we’re gonna need some names before long.

Is this Central the same Central that’s in the Valley Conference? Or, with the nickname “Bobcats,” is it the one in Knoxville, TN? If the latter, then Milford has stolen its team colors. Maybe it’s the one in Phoenix or in San Angelo, TX. Seeing a team in mauve, pink and black is also a little refreshing though I’ve gotta wonder how their boys’ teams pull it off. I don’t know squat about volleyball uniform numbering so I can’t vouch for whether 64 is an appropriate number for a volleyball player. I have a hunch it’s some kind of secret message, kind of like Rubin’s goodbye and Prisoner reference in the July 7 strip. The number 5, of course, refers to the number of people in the stands and the number 17, dunno, maybe the number of people who read Gil Thorp on the regular?

Anyhoo, here’s a pic of the original No-Name Defense. See if you can name any of them without Googling. I’ll post the answers on Wednesday.

August 31, 2022

WOKE must be a new rival station to WDIG

Mimi Thorp.

Likes: Hairy stay-at-home dads. Passive-aggressive notes.

Dislikes: Successful coach dads with pilot’s licenses.

Gil Thorp.

Likes: Old fashioneds. Old tech.

Dislikes: Threats to his masculinity.

Jami Thorp.

Likes: Hentai. Staining his pants to hentai.

Dislikes: His mom knowing he looks at hentai.

Keri Thorp.

Likes: Playing her parents off each other. Wearing her politics on her sleeve torso.

Dislikes: Whatever it’s hip to dislike.

Gil Thorp readers.

Pronouns: y’all/ all y’all

Likes: Continuity. Artwork that matches the dialogue.

Dislikes: Retcons. Random pointy fingers. Consistenly inconsistent uniform colors.

August 17, 2022

TFW Mimi isn’t the fan service Thorp anymore

Gentle readers, I am still genuinely freaked out by the knowledge that a portion of my Saturday post was quoted at The Daily Cartoonist. It’s not like I haven’t been published before; I’ve co-authored a pair of scientific papers and have had a regular column in both a baseball quarterly and a life sciences industry trade magazine (no humblebrag intended, mea culpa). In each of those cases my publication involved significant amounts of research followed by multiple rounds of peer review and editing. Here, it’s just my hot take on a comic strip published hours before I read it, with no input save any comments about it that may have already been made elsewhere – and again, I feel the need to emphasize that I almost never read those comments before coming up with ones of my own.*

If I think about that for too long, it’s gonna make me timid. A timid blogger has no place on a snark blog, so I’m just gonna stop thinking about it, okay? Okay!

Another thing I’m gonna stop thinking about is the dialogue in today’s strip. Typical spousal convo where one spouse has suddenly become concerned about their relationship and their place in it. The only piece really worth hanging onto is Mimi’s evasive answer as to where she and the kids are. Unless the corner of a building we saw yesterday is Mimi’s mom’s place, we have no evidence they went anywhere but to the beach. Those three little birds that have been hanging around Mimi the past two days are either a sign that every little thing’s gonna be alright or harbingers of Hitchcockian horror.

The real highlight of this week’s strips has been the art, particularly of Mimi. Kudos to the Chief today for drawing her holding a phone the way an actual human might. (This might be more challenging than it looks; take a look at how it’s done in Mary Worth, for example.) What’s really gotten my attention is how she’s been drawn relative to Keri – and to previous versions of herself for that matter. We’ve frequently noted how progressively younger Mimi was looking (e.g., in the Christmas strips) but in the past two strips she’s developed a noticeable mom bod. Has Whigham done this in response to some direction by Barajas, then? Dunno but I’ll take it as another sign of increased realism coming to Milford.

As for Keri: get your minds out of the gutter! She’s still building sand castles with her little brother.

*I will start reading those Gocomics comments now, but still not after I post here on the days I post. I also signed up for a Discord account but I couldn’t find where Gil Thorp was being discussed there. The less I know, maybe.

August 15, 2022

Life’s A Beach

Filed under: Bare Midriffs, huge glasses, huge hats, Jami Thorp, Keri Thorp, metapost, Mimi Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:04 am

Here we are, visiting Mimi’s mother (who’s not doing well). Well, you can always swing by Shady Acres Assisted Living Facility, stop in for a quick visit, (Mother, you remember your grandchildren, Jami and Keri? No, sure you do. Remember how they would come visit you every summer? Of course you do, mother. Of course you do.) then get to the shore to enjoy the sun, the crashing of the waves and the absence of Gil Thorp. Seriously, did Mimi straight up lie to Gil?

For some insight on that last question, let’s turn our attention to the latest media appearance by new Gil Thorp writer, Henry Barajas. In this interview featured in The Daily Cartoonist, Henry says:

Something I’ve learned from better writers than myself is to never underestimate your audience—and the reader is always smarter than you. I intentionally leave things “vague” with the promise to follow it up.

So I guess we are smart enough to figure this out. I’m just going to say Mimi lied about her mother. But lying to your spouse and then involving the children is rather low. Maybe I’m not all that smart. By the way, if you read to the end of the interview with Henry, you’ll see that the Daily Cartoonist writer D.D. Degg (great name) throws in a link to TWIM and quotes teenchy’s last post. Wow, This Week in Milford is going places, after sixteen years. Today it’s The Daily Cartoonist (the source for industry news for the professional cartoonist), next up, who knows! (Hat tip to MopMan for calling attention to the TWIM shoutout.)

I don’t want it to sound like I’m throwing shade at Henry Barajas or D.D. Degg of The Daily Cartoonist. I love daily comics and the anticipation of cracking open a browser tab every morning to see what’s going on in Milford or Santa Royale wherever. (Yesterday’s Mary Worth was another one for the ages.) I salute these people who figure out how to pay the bills creating comics. I feel like “comics mockage” as Jason referred to it when he started TWIM is an outlet for our own creativity from the vantage point of the comic strip consumers. Does it veer off into some real aggro attitude sometimes? Maybe, but I think it’s mainly based on devotion to the strips. Am I being sincere here? I think the readers of TWIM are smart enough to know.

So let’s get back to the beach. Jami’s got an ice cream cone and there’s some sniping between him and Keri. Mimi’s reading a book in that classic pose that Whigham uses when the strip’s teen girls lay on their beds with their laptops. Keri is absorbed in her phone. We’ve yet to see the evidence that Keri is “missing her daddy”. We know her daddy has a flip phone and is a little unsure how to use it, so I doubt Ker is texting Gil. (If she was, would she have to keep up the visit Grandma charade? I’m having a hard time keeping the narrative I’ve created straight.)

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